Use 2022 International Women’s Day to protest APC, says Wike to women

From Tony John, Port Harcourt

Rivers State Governor Nyesom Wike has urged women to use the 2022 International Women’s Day celebration on Tuesday to protest against the gender policy of the All Progressives Congress (APC)-controlled Federal Government.

Governor Wike gave the charge at the civic reception organised in his honour by the Ekpeye ethnic nation at St Peter Catholic School Field, Ahoada Town in Ahoada East Local Government Area on Saturday.

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The governor said it is an APC-controlled National Assembly that actually rejected the five gender bills that would have given women more political opportunities.

According to him, APC members who are in majority were unwilling to amend the country’s constitution in order to give women the requisite political opportunity.

Governor Wike urged women to keep pace with their demand for legislative rights and use the occasion of 2022 International Women’s Day to further demand roles they should play in political administration in the country.

‘I hear on Tuesday, there will be a celebration of International Women’s Day. I ask Nigerian women, what are you celebrating? Other countries can celebrate their women, Nigeria cannot celebrate their women,’ the governor stated.

He continued: ‘Take that particular day, demonstrate against APC which has refused women to be recognised in this country. Don’t go there and begin to dance; there is nothing to dance about until they recognise you. It is only when Nigeria recognises you, then, you can dance.’

Governor Wike said presently in Rivers State, all the vice-chairmen of the 23 councils are women and every local government has at least five councillors as women.

The governor explained that he considers himself as part of Ekpeye land and could not ignore their development needs.

He thanked Ekpeye sons and daughters who stood with him in his political endeavour.

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Governor stated even though the Ekpeye kingdom was long forgotten, God’s appointed time came and now six traditional stools had been upgraded to first-class status, which is unprecedented.

Governor said his administration has fulfilled every promise made to the Ekpeye people in terms of project delivery because he is determined to transform Ahoada into a city.

The governor announced the award for the reconstruction of the Ochigba/Ogbologbolo/Ozochi road and the recognition of Ugbobi traditional stool to first-class status in the area.

Concerning the governorship, Governor Wike said he did not believe in gifting such power and urged any Ekpeye person who thinks he has such capacity to be ready to jostle for the office with others across the state.

In his welcome address, EC Okorji said Ekpeye people were celebrating Governor Wike because of the development projects he had delivered in Ekpeyeland.

According to Okorji, the projects included the reconstruction of Ochigba road, internal roads in Odiokwu communities, dual-carriage Ahoada-Omoku road, siting of a campus of the Rivers State University, remodelling of Western Ahoada Country High School, the Zonal Hospital and upgrade of five traditional stools to first-class status.

On his part, Senator Osinachi Ideozu described Governor Wike as the voice of Ekpeyeland who has courageously changed the narrative of the people and given them a pride of place in governance.

Also speaking, Chibudom Nwuche said Governor Wike is an illustrious son, who puts Rivers State in the national spotlight always with evidence of good governance.

He noted that Governor Wike is also a lover of unity and has unified all people of Rivers State.

The Ekpeye council of traditional rulers conferred on Governor Wike the Eze Ugbabuzewe Ekpeye Olu of Ekpeye land (The leader who has uplifted Ekpeye ethnic nation).